May 4- Twenty-eight years ago, the Las Vegas Valley experienced one of the largest explosions in history — PEPCON.
May 1- Fire is a primary and very real threat to people, equipment and facilities in the chemical process industries (CPI), especially in the refining and storage of petrochemicals. The consequences of failing to detect flames, combustible gas leaks or flammable chemical spills can have dire consequences, including loss of life and catastrophic plant damage.
Apr 28- When the unexpected happens to a business, delayed action – or the wrong action – can cause as much harm as the initial incident itself.
Apr 27- If there are no accidents at the production sites, it means that someone has elaborated this question very carefully, organized and controlled. Behind each project – not just the work and knowledge of professionals but also a huge, often invisible to us, work on the safety provision.
Mar 22- As one of the original UMIST Behavioural Safety researchers, I am delighted to see so many companies adopting Behavioural Safety as part of their safety improvement effort.
Feb 29- Organizations sometimes make catastrophic mistakes. And although they try to learn from these disasters, they tend to make similar mistakes again and again.
Jan 21- Steady state process templates (flowsheets) are used extensively in the engineering design workflow for all UOP process technologies. UOP engineers utilise the Honeywell UNISIM® Design Suite of process modelling tools1 - 3 in the preparation of a process design package to users called Schedule A.
Jan 18- As the plant floor becomes more connected, so do abnormal situations—which can originate from anywhere in the enterprise. To help operators navigate this new universe of anomalies, suppliers are turning to artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that enable proactive situational awareness vs. reactive alarm management.
Dec 22- West Virginia, US, featured surprisingly regularly in 2015’s chemical industry news. Bayer CropScience agreed a settlement with the US government over a fatal explosion at its pesticide plant in Institute in 2008.
Dec 11- A NEW report marking the ten-year anniversary of the devastating blast at Buncefield oil depot has found significant progress has been made in industrial safety.
Dec 5- Before any discussion on accident reporting, investigation, and prevention can occur, there should be an understanding of the definitions used to classify accidents and incidents.
While not a direct quote, “The system will produce exactly what it should produce” was the basic mantra of Total Quality Management guru, W. Edwards Deming. He also proposed that if we want to change the output of a system, we need to change the system itself. And, he’s right.
Dec 2- On this day in 1984, tragedy struck Bhopal, India after an explosion at a local pesticide plant released toxic gas throughout the city. An estimated 2,000 people were killed and approximately 200,000 were injured as a result of the accident.
Dec 1- Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) is a situational tool to address, understand, and facilitate discretionary incident-prevention behaviors. How well are you using this important tool, and what is the workflow that supports it? Behavior-Based Safety has four main components that should be customized to fit the operational and cultural realities of your organization, to systematically:...
Nov 16- Lockout/tagout (LOTO) continues to hover near the top of frequently cited OSHA standards. A safety consultant who’s seen his share of LOTO programs has some ideas about where the problems lie.
Nov 13- On Nov. 15, 2014, four people died in a gas leak inside a pesticide plant run by DuPont near the Houston suburb of La Porte: Crystle Wise; brothers Gilbert "Gibby" and Robert Tisnado, and their shift supervisor Wade Baker.
Nov 10- There’s a general understanding that regulations, once introduced, are immutable: they are fixed, and you must simply follow them to the letter in order to be in compliance. However, this is far from the truth.
Nov 3- Although OSHA’s new reporting rule has been in effect for less than a year, it has caused some major changes in the way that OSHA operates. Since the new reporting rule went into effect on January 1, 2015, OSHA has received 200 to 250 reports of work-related deaths, inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye each week.
Nov 2- KBYG news radio in Big Spring reports that one man was airlifted to a Lubbock hospital with burns following an accident at the West Texas Gas (WTG) plant 12 miles northeast of Big Spring Sunday evening.
Nov 1- In the chemical process industries (CPI), one incident can have a tremendous impact on the people in the plant, the communities around it, the environment and the production asset.
Nov 1- An explosion occurred overnight at a nuclear power plant in Doel, northern Belgium, local media reported, adding that the blast caused a fire. The exact damage from the incident remains unknown.
Oct 31- Firefighters had their hands full battling a first alarm fire at the Intel plant in Chandler Friday night.
Oct 31- Firefighters Saturday responded to a fire at the Sanderson Farms building on Aviation Parkway after 10:30 am.
Oct 30- A Stratford firefigters suffered a facial injury while fighting a fire at Total Petrochemicals and Refining plant on Ontario Street late Tuesday night, and was treated and released at a hospital, officals said.
Oct 30- NATIONAL Milling Corporation’s oil plant has been burnt, crippling production of all oil-related products. The oil plant, which caught fire around 23:00hrs on Wednesday night, had its machinery completely gutted, ...
Sep 16- Major accidents in both the upstream and downstream sectors have highlighted the significance of having process safety management in place, so as to maintain the license to operate. Process safety today in Asia is seen exactly as it is in most parts of the world as a major issue where performance is not improving and yet the challenges are increasing says Phil Eames, director of Eames Risk Consulting.
Sep 6- Three Mile Island. Chernobyl. Fukushima Daiichi. These three sites have been the setting for the most major reactor accidents in world history and have become synonymous with some of our worst fears involving nuclear power gone wrong.
Aug 26- The increasing use of alternative fuels is one example of where process safety is brought to the forefront at many cement plants, but hazards related to the storage and transportation of fuels, structural failures of fly ash silos/coal bins, explosion in kilns and coal mills, etc,...
Jul 14- Ensuring nuclear reactor safety is not only a question of physical protection against all credible threats, enhancing robustness of important safety systems and increasing redundancy of back-up power and water cooling systems, but also one of making certain that qualified and trained staff are supported by effective procedures.
Jul 6- On this day, the Chronicle reported on an explosion at the ARCO Chemical Company in Channelview that left 17 people dead and five people hurt. The 100 million dollar tragedy was caused by a wastewater storage tank that exploded during the restart of a compressor.
Jun 9- Most industrial plants in the UK and Europe were built between 1960 and 1980 and were expected to operate for no more than 40 years. However, many are still operating today - several years past their expected life span.
Jun 7- HPS has been deeply involved with the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium for over 20 years. The company believes that this involvement in developing best practices has been instrumental in enabling its own intuitive operations management, alarm management, and workflow optimization solutions and services for customers across the entire gas value chain.
Jun 1- The oil and gas industry is vital to our nation and to our nation's economy. The rapid expansion of U.S. unconventional oil and natural gas production has presented tremendous growth opportunities in recent years, and production is projected to continue to expand, with vast amounts of technically recoverable reserves for both oil and gas.
May 13- Today, industry stands on the brink of its fourth major technological revolution, Industry 4.0, having previously implemented several major changes -- mechanisation, mass production and electronic automation.
Apr 14- Three zeroes stand out in the first annual performance report by the Center for Offshore Safety (COS), the oil and natural gas industry-led initiative to promote continuous offshore safety improvement following the 2010 Macondo incident: Zero fatalities, zero loss-of-well-control incidents and zero oil spills equal to or greater than 10,000 gallons in Gulf of Mexico operations.
Apr 13- Last year the Swiss nuclear regulator requested that the Convention on Nuclear Safety mandate that the safety of existing nuclear power plants should be in line with standards for new nuclear power plants.
Apr 4- The most recent press statement carried on the Pemex website about its Gulf of Mexico disaster in which four workers were killed and many more injured was issued yesterday morning and apparently last modified at 15.39 in the afternoon.
Feb 26- Nuclear energy must evolve to secure its future, but how does change affect the performance of plant operators? A new DOE-funded project at Vanderbilt University aims to find out.
Feb 21- Sometimes the best tool for a complex problem can be right in front of us. But does that principle apply in the case of something as complex and urgent as a serious injury or fatality (SIF)? For years, organizations have sought to understand the growing gap between incident rates that have steadily declined across industry and fatality rates that have not.
Jan 14- Editor’s note: This article contains excerpts from a panel discussion held at an ISA Symposium in Houston, October 7, 2014. The symposium chair for the chemical and petroleum industries division (ChemPID) was Chad Harper, senior director of technology at Maverick Technologies. This edited transcript is provided with permission of ISA.
Dec 1- In the wake of recent airline crashes, major news networks have aired concerns about pilots’ ability to accurately fly “by hand” when the airplane’s cockpit automation systems fail.
Nov 12- In my background of 23 years of operations and 41 years of plant design and construction, I have witnessed seven serious fires and two explosions.
Oct 23- Thursday marked the 25th anniversary of a disaster at the Phillips 66 facility in Pasadena. Although the tragedy led to nationwide rules and plant safety improvements, much more needs to be done.
Oct 21- Temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit froze the valve on the back of Greg Bish’s frack truck. To thaw it, he fetched a blowtorch and put the 4-inch flame to the metal.
Oct 13- It would be a rare exception if an outline for a safety management system did not include a requirement for incidents to be investigated and analyzed.
Oct 7- At a special breakfast presentation, which was recently hosted by the Chemical & Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA,) the importance of process safety in the boardroom and leadership from the top was emphasised to an audience of senior executives and managers from across the chemical and allied industries.
Aug 15- Offshore oil and gas activities are not, by nature, inherently safe. They involve handling large amounts of pressurised hydrocarbons and other produced fluids and gases.
Jun 23- India needs an effective safety case regulatory regime. There are over 1,900 major accident hazard (MAH) control units or facilities in India. There are also thousands of registered hazardous factories, below MAH criteria.
Jun 11- One of the most common misunderstandings and misapplications of the ASM Guidelines on effective console operator HMI (human-machine interface) design has been an over-emphasis on simply applying a new color palette to all the existing displays for a console position.
Aug 6- ... I’m a huge proponent of Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) guidelines and some of the newer high-performance graphics methods...
Jul 7- The choices people make affect the safety of employees, customers and the public. If utility employees choose to be safe and competent, they will accomplish their work with zero injuries and safety incidents.
Jul 3- Whether performing unit startups or shutdowns, making changes, switching feedstocks, or performing maintenance work, plant personnel must perform specific procedures correctly and in the correct order to ensure smooth plant operation, worker safety and environmental compliance.
Jun 27- At Siemens’ 2013 Automation Summit, DuPont explained its safety philosophy and outlined several of its best practices.
Apr 30- The idea of placing greater emphasis on operator interaction with automated systems has been gaining traction. As common sense as the idea sounds, effective implementation isn’t necessarily a no-brainer.
May 13- The fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas that killed 15, injured hundreds, and caused property damages that could reach $100 million has some talking about the need for increased workplace safety regulations to prevent future disasters.
Apr 7- Major accidents such as those at Texas City and Buncefield and in the Gulf of Mexico have highlighted the critical role played by senior managers in the process industries.
Mar 27- ... Choices within groov Build are based on best practices gleaned from the High Performance HMI Handbook (Hollifield et. al.) and the ASM (Abnormal Situation Management) Consortium Guidelines for Effective Operator Interface Design. ...
Mar 4- The current front-page sub-contractor controversies surrounding BP's liability for the gulf explosion and Boeing's grounding of its 787 Dreamliner should not obscure an ultimate take-away for corporate leaders: companies must take operational responsibility for ensuring that products and services provided to them by third party suppliers are safe, effective and of high quality.
Mar 4- After series of refinery fires at Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group, the Taiwanese government shutdown more than 50 FPG plants in one year to re-establish safe processes.
Jan 18- The ASM Consortium defines an abnormal situation as an event disturbing a process that requires the operations team to intervene to supplement the control system.
Jan 5- Studies by the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium (www.asmconsortium.net) have shown that worker actions cause 42% of abnormal situations or upsets in processing operations. Equipment problems lead to 36% of upsets, with half of these attributable to equipment or process units functioning outside of their "operating envelope."
Dec 19- Federal offshore drilling regulators on Wednesday sought to prod oil and gas companies to adopt a “safety culture” following lethal accidents in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dec 7- The Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium (www.asmconsortium.net) is a group of end users and other experts focused on the continuous process industries. The group has developed best practices in each of seven areas based on site reviews conducted over the nearly 20 years.
Sep 26- As control system integrators, we hear stories all the time about issues and pain points that processing facilities are enduring, many seeing no light at the end of the tunnel in terms of a solution.
Sep 12- Using Milliken & Co., a two-time America’s Safest Companies winner, as an example, Phil McIntyre discussed the nine keys to a successful safety process at the 2012 America’s Safest Companies Conference in Chicago...
Sep 9- The Aug. 6 accident at the Chevron refinery in Richmond was a close call for the workers initially enveloped in a cloud of flammable vapor resulting from a leak in an aging, thinning pipe.
Aug 31, RICHMOND -- It's a tiny, little-known federal agency with a big mission of preventing oil refinery and chemical plant explosions, fires and toxic releases that can harm people and the environment and disrupt fuel supplies.
Aug 16- Today, it is imperative that plant operators take a holistic approach to Industrial Security, thereby addressing critical requirements from beyond the plant perimeter to process control network.
Jul 16- Research by the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium - a joint R&D consortium led by Honeywell - indicates that in 59% of incident reports, the investigation team observed a strong need to address abnormal situations in procedure development.
Jul 13- As machines become more productive and technologies advance, the international community has come together to provide structured guidance and tools to aid system developers in the design and assessment of machinery.
Jul 11- The Principles of Batch Automation Are Being Used in Continuous Process to Improve Process Safety and Quality, and to Compensate for Losing Older, Highly Experienced Operators
Jul 7- A report from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission said the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the east coast of Japan was not the result of natural events, yet it was “man-made.”
Jun 29- DESPITE rapid gains in technology, humans are ultimately responsible for ensuring the success and safety of the aviation industry globally.
Jun 18 - What Are the Biggest Problems That Control Engineers Face When Going into a Plant?
Jun 12- ... the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium estimates that personnel actions cause $20 billion per year in avoidable costs. That’s why Honeywell’s mission is to help our customers address their particular challenges, and improve their safety, reliability, efficiency and sustainability...
Jun 11- Making headline news globally, the most fatal incidents associated with oil and gas operations have endangered lives, affected livelihood of nearby communities and ...
Jun 6- Minor accidents are sometimes not reported while the major ones come to our notice as they mainly occur due to accidents, human error or major machine damage or break down.
May 22- Modern chemical plants are built with large amount of integrated and interlinked process units. Such complexity ensures that these plants are operated in an optimized and profitable fashion.
May 17- While the first distributed control system (DCS) represented a step-change in process control capabilities, it was a mixed bag at best for the process operator.
May 10- Many employers are in the dark over whether their safety incentive programs encourage or discourage the reporting of injuries and illnesses by their employees, or if they have no effect.
May 10- Sukhoi SuperJet 100 crash in Indonesia has experts arguing that the human factor brought about the accident.
May 6- Last week, the Department of Labor & Industries hosted its annual Worker Memorial Day ceremony to honor the men and women who lost their lives in 2011 as a result of their work, an event ...
May 3- Abnormal situation management (ASM) has been under increasing focus since the mid 1980s. There has been a significant amount of work done in many elements of ASM by researchers and control system vendors.
May 3- Charlie Williams is the new face of offshore drilling safety. The chief scientist for well engineering and production technology for Shell worldwide, Williams just took over as the head of the industry’s new Center for Offshore Safety.
Apr 26- Accident investigation is a painstaking and often painful process and, more often than not, the outcome is a raft of new policies and measures to avoid reoccurrence.
Apr 24- A little-noticed explosion last month could disrupt the supply chain for global automakers for months, according to Morgan Stanley economist Ted Wieseman.
Apr 19- According to studies produced by the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium – a research and development group founded in 1994 by Honeywell, to address customer concerns about the high cost of plant incidents ...
Apr 19- Ensuring safe and healthy working conditions is an important responsibility for both employers and employees. Minimising chances of accidents and disease in ...
Apr 19- ... alarms must be understood and managed to keep people from panicking. Some organizations do not have an Alarm Management system or process to handle alarms.
Apr 16- A fatigued, napping Air Canada co-pilot who awoke, wrongly believed his flight was on a collision course and pushed the plane sharply downward, is to blame for a January 2011 incident that left 16 injured, the Transportation Safety Board reported Monday.
Apr 4- Ever since the Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010, safety and risk management has become the subject pushed to the forefront of every business operating in the oil and gas sector.
Apr 3- There’s no doubt that behaviour-based safety (BBS) techniques – the aim of which is to encourage individuals to act safely through fear of punishment and anticipation of reward – do provide effective promotion of safety in the workplace.
Mar 29- We committed to implementing the recommendations of the BP US Refineries Independent Safety Review Panel (the Baker Panel) and since 2006...
Mar 28- Organizational consultant Hal Resnick contends that workplace safety is a culture and creating it can require major organizational change.
Mar 14- Safety at every workplace could probably stand more rigorous attention. Facilitated dialogue about the important business issues can help people internalize and demonstrate needed behaviors.
Mar 7- A research study covering 37 operator consoles conducted by the Abnormal Situation Management consortium showed a monthly average alarm rate of 2.3 per ten-minute period for normal operations ...
Mar 5- "Do we do it the old, reliable way, or do we challenge ourselves to demonstrate new technology and use continuous improvement?" That was Kevin Dahm's question.
Feb 27- Equipment overpressure can occur due to a range of events which must be identified to enable adequate pressure relief to be specified according to pressure relief standard API 521.
Feb 20- Hazard identification is the key to effective hazard control. It is the first thing to do before hazard control methods determined.
Feb 10- Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) has effectively influenced risk for over 30 years and has contributed to improvement in performance ...
Dec 30- TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The National Transportation Safety Board (KNKT) has recorded human error as the main cause of accidents which occurred throughout 2011.
Dec 20- Sometimes pilots violate established procedures and rules. This may lead to an increased risk of accidents. One effective way ...
Dec 20- Over the past 10 years, Honeywell has supported the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium to define safe display principals and practices, and to build that know-how into its Experion HMIWeb technology and standard displays.
Dec 19- A Board of Inquiry (BOI) has found that human error was a key contributing factor in the grounding of HMCS Corner Brook in Nootka Sound June 4, ...
Dec 13- In a plant operation, no one ever knows what could happen next, which is why an integrated solution brings in tools and procedures for abnormal situation management (ASM).
Dec 8- On Nov. 30, OSHA announced the launch of its PSM National Emphasis Program for chemical facilities (Chem NEP). The new Chem NEP expands nationwide a previous 2009 Pilot Chemical Facilities Process Safety Management NEP, ...
Dec 7 -. A research study covering 37 operator consoles conducted by the Abnormal Situation Management consortium showed a monthly average alarm rate of 2.3 per ten-minute period for normal operations and a median value of 1.7.
Dec 5- Process plants require operational procedures to produce products. The procedures consist of a set of tasks executed in a consistent manner to achieve a specific objective such as starting up or shutting down, or transitioning to a different product.
Dec 5- Name any recent industrial disaster, and you will find the “perfect storm” of events that together led to catastrophic results. In a number of these incidents, compromised operator performance was a key factor,...
Dec 01- The most basic guideline from the EEUMA and Abnormal Situation Management consortium (http://www.asmconsortium.net/Pages/default.aspx) in determining if you have an alarming problem is if the rate of alarms in first 10 ...
Nov 23- True alarms should require immediate action, and care should be given not to overload the operator with too many alarms and alerts. This requires an audit of your current or planned alarms. The Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium (www.asmconsortium.net) also publishes several guidelines on alarm management best practices.
Nov 18-There were reports earlier this week of leaks of at the BP refinery in Texas City, the site of a 2005 explosion that killed fifteen and injured 140 more.
Nov 11-What do your safety metrics look at today? How are you using them to improve your processes and make your workplace safer for everyone? EHS metrics can be a useful tool as long as you can use them to directly improve safety in your organization, and you're not simply reporting on them without action.
Oct 17-The dawn of the Industrial Revolution, when the number of production facilities rapidly increased, along with workplace accidents and fatalities, was the impetus for the development of safety management as a field of study and career path.
Sep 16-The fire tragedy that has claimed more than 100 deaths in a Nairobi slum this week has raised questions about the safety and security of individuals living in particular areas of the country, the social responsibility of the corporate sector, and the Kenya government’s role in establishing regulations that minimise risk.
Sep 6-Almost every week, at least one company in the forest products industry is cited for safety violations and fined large sums for exposing employees to some workplace danger.
Aug 29-Human factors research is about to take centre stage with Professor Robin Burgess-Limerick joining the Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre (MISHC) at The University of Queensland.
Aug 28-Operator up-skilling key to prevent critical problems in the oil and gas industry
Aug 25-Process safety is vital to ensure the protection of employees, the environment, communities and corporate reputation.
Aug 16-We tend to speak about financial issues more than moral issues in the business world. Safety is an issue that has significant ramifications from both moral and financial perspectives.
Aug 14-In a recent survey conducted by the International Quality and Productivity Centre, 81.8% of the 2,243 oil and gas respondents defined the human factor as "very important" for Process Safety Management (PSM). Building PSM into operations and process design has become a key focus in the Middle East, with 86.4% of respondents already at the implementation phase of PSM.
Jul 03-To achieve continuous performance improvement Shell companies manage health, safety, security, environment and social performance in a systematic way.
Jun 10-HMI packages are getting more and more powerful allowing the creation of very realistic graphics. Though we all like to look at, and as designers, want to create, beautiful graphics for our HMIs, studies have shown that there is a simpler is far safer method of graphically representing the process.
Jun 1-Designing programs and using best practices to keep your employees safe may feel like the right thing to do, but this decision does more than just ease your mind.
Jun 1-Process hazard analysis (PHA) and mechanical integrity (MI) programs are two essential elements used in the Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard to prevent or to minimize the consequences of catastrophic toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive chemical releases.
May 31-Safety and operations integrity are the foundations of ExxonMobil’s business. Nothing is more important.We hold our commitment to excellence in safety, security, and health in the workplace as a core value—one that shapes decision making at every level.
May 19- The worm has been described as a one-shot weapon that has already had its intended effects. However, Stuxnet is capable of causing much deadlier outcomes, including a nuclear meltdown.
May 6- A little after midnight on Good Friday last year, a heat exchanger on a naphtha hydrotreater unit at the Tesoro oil refinery in Anacortes, Wash., catastrophically failed. The unit exploded, setting off a blast that shook homes five miles away and igniting a fire that could be seen anywhere in Anacortes. Three oil workers died in the blast; four others died at the hospital from injuries sustained in the accident.
Mar 28- Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima. First the accident, then the predictable allegations in the postmortem: The design was flawed. Inspections were inadequate. Lines of defense crumbled and reliable backups proved unreliable. Planners lacked the imagination or willpower to prepare for the very worst.
Mar 21- On March 25, we mark the 100th anniversary of the terrible Triangle Shirtwaist Fire that took the lives of 146 garment workers in New York City. Newspapers recorded the grisly details of young working girls throwing themselves from the ninth floor of the factory to avoid the flames. But Triangle was an entirely preventable tragedy, like most industrial accidents that have plagued working people.
Mar 14 - "Any human factors professional is doing UCD.”Bob Zapata, automation team lead, Refining Business Improvement at ConocoPhillips (www.conocophillips.com) in Houston, Texas, agrees. "We've been using UCD for about eight years now," he says. "Our human-centered designs are primarily centered on an improved HMI based on the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM, www.asmconsortium.net) consortium's guidelines and practices."
Mar 10- We’ve seen it before: poorly designed alarm systems have caused operators to miss critical alarms or to respond incorrectly, leading to unplanned shutdowns, reduced product quality, damaged assets, or worse.
Feb 24 - In most places where refineries are running, the surrounding communities are unaware of the risks associated with hydrofluoric acid. But in Corpus Christi, Texas, the fears are as palpable as the warning sirens that come at all times of the day and night.
Dec 30- A study report released in mid-December warns that refineries in the Gulf Coast state of Louisiana exhibit a pattern of frequent accidents and other warning signs similar to those ignored by BP in advance of April’s Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.
Dec 21- ASM’s research aims to insure that the transfer of information and situational understanding between technology tools and humans is accurate, so that proper awareness, corrective actions and decisions are taken.
Dec 21- There are many practice areas in safety where subject matter experts, consultants and performers fail to appreciate what each has to offer the other. This article addresses two such systems commonly in use today: Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) and Process Safety Management (PSM), both of which require a scientific understanding of behavior, and without which, neither area can excel.
Dec 12- The underlying causes of incidents need to be identified. This is broadly agreed in the industry. However, the practice is different. Many companies are struggling with it. Different problems arise in investigating organisational, underlying root causes from incidents.
Nov 16- And it is clear that over and over accidents that have resulted in deaths or injuries or both-- and lots of lost production time and profits-- are caused or abetted by the operators' inability to understand what is going on. One of the causes of the deaths of 11 people aboard the Deepwater Horizon, we are given to understand, is that the young woman on the control panel had imperfect training in alarm handling, and didn't know what to do first when ALL the alarms went off. A perfect storm.There are, however, efforts being made to remedy, or at least ameliorate this situation.The Abnormal Situation Management Consortium has been releasing guidance. ISA has standards committees (especially ISA18 and ISA106) working on the situation.
Nov 7- My colleague, Rodrigo Maciel, and I had the opportunity to attend the Mary K. O’Connor Process Safety Center 2010 International Symposium October 26 to 28 at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. This process safety conference had about 400 attendees, which included representation from government agencies (OSHA, Chemical Safety Board), Chemical Engineering Professors from around the globe, Safety Consultants, and Process Safety Managers and Scientists from Petrochemical and Chemical companies.
Nov 2- SAWS spokesman Huang Yi, 21, held in the first quarter of 2009, the National Safety Case press briefing in the first quarter, China's total of 97,991 various types of accidents, the death of 18,501 people, were down 14.9% year on year and 7.6%. The first quarter of the nation's key industries, production safety situation in most parts of the country are showing the overall stability of the trend towards improvement, statistical units 32 units 20 no serious accidents during the Spring Festival, "two sessions", and Qingming During the festival, the country had no major accidents.
Oct 27- OSHA is soon approaching its 40th anniversary. During this time we will remember the nearly 4,400 workers who died on the job last year and the many thousands who have died needlessly every year since the Act was passed. We also need to remember the more than 3.3 million workers being injured and exposed every year in our country to chemicals that can cause long-term illnesses.
Oct 12- ARC defines standards as detailed descriptions of technological functionality certified by an international independent organization in the area where the standard applies. It believes that to move away from proprietary mode is appropriate as future options will remain secure with adoption of standards, promoting choices for the users. Standards, such as IEC 61131-3 for programming and configuration, IEC 61508, 61511 for safety applications, ISA-88 structures for batch and procedural applications and ISA-95, the international standard for the integration of enterprise and control systems, are worth considering. Of these, in the Indian context, the programming and configuration standard is of relevance.
Sept 27- In September, I attended a conference on "smart manufacturing" run by a who's who in manufacturing and automation, under the auspices of the National Science Foundation, UT-Austin, UCLA and other imposing entities. The organization is trying to develop a framework for smart manufacturing for the United States, because we all believe that the future of American manufacturing lies in connectivity of data and systems. Just as we want to create the smart grid, we want to create smart manufacturing.
Sept 20- There are few places on earth more lonely than the space occupied by a corporate executive who is potentially responsible for a process safety mishap resulting in significant injuries to property, the environment and people. Often, support for such executives at that time can be seen by governmental authorities and the public as a failure of the corporation to take responsibility for the consequences of the catastrophic incident. On the other hand, abandoning such individuals in their time of need—particularly as they are subjected to regulatory and criminal investigations and the initiation of civil lawsuits—is seldom in the best interests of the corporation.
Sept 19- Twenty-five years ago, a runaway chemical reaction in a tank at a Union Carbide (UC) pesticide factory created a poisonous gas which, unimpeded by the factory’s safety devices, spewed out over the population of the sleeping Indian city of Bhopal. Amnesty International estimated that seven thousand to ten thousand died in the catastrophe’s first three days, and that, by 2004, another fifteen thousand died. Prior to Bhopal, concern over toxic chemicals was confined to long-term or chronic effects on human health and the environment. Bhopal, however, showed that the manufacture, storage, and use of toxic chemicals also posed a major, acute risk to the safety of those working in and living around petrochemical plants and complexes.
Sept 19- Fortunately, your company has great market opportunities. Unfortunately, your opportunities are not where you have the environmental, health and safety (EHS) resources, people and knowledge. This creates a huge geographic mismatch. You and your company have spent years (even decades) building up your EHS infrastructure to fit your historic footprint. In developed markets where you’ve operated for years, you have good people and perhaps even good “bench strength” of people coming up through the ranks. You understand local issues and regulations, and you have software that matches your operations and relevant requirements. You also have contractors upon whom you can rely for effective, efficient and compliant services for things like hazardous waste disposal and complex equipment maintenance.
Sept 8- The Abnormal Situation Management Consortium found that 95% of the unique consoles observed during a study on alarm frequency received a peak of 31 to 50 alarms every 10 minutes during non-normal operations, such as in the case of an equipment failure or other emergency. That’s three to five times more alarms than are deemed manageable by the EEMUA, ISA and NPD. A recent FMECA revealed that vital alarms might not be acted on in time because they were not categorized by priority amid the tens of thousands of alarms being displayed every day. During another project, we created an inventory of all alarms produced by drill floor equipment. The final list was more than 90 pages long and contained more than 2,700 alarms.
Sept 3- A disproportionate percentage of process safety incidents have occurred during transient operations, which include those conducted infrequently such as startups or shutdowns as well as abnormal or emergency events. A typical refining or petrochemical facility will spend less than 10% of its time in transient operations — yet 50+% of process safety incidents occur during these operations (Figure 1) [1–3]. Deficiencies in procedures and employee training often are cited as root causes of these incidents. The increased reliability and extended turnaround intervals of plants result in less familiarity with tasks outside of normal operations. So, while it's critically important to follow procedures during transient operations, a high percentage of procedural violations are found to occur during them.
Aug 19- A failure of leadership led to the April 20, 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, killing 11 workers and releasing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Specifically, senior executive leaders at BP and its contractors Halliburton and Transocean failed to have the vision, will and culture of safety necessary to assure adequate levels of operational safety and reliability. In addition, leadership in the federal government failed to execute proper oversight and assure adequate emergency response planning
Aug 16- BP now holds the record for oil spills in two of the major producing regions of the US - Alaska's Prudhoe Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It was fined $20 million for the Prudhoe spill, which may seem like pocket change when the fines and economic damages for the Gulf spill are finally totaled. Actually, for a company like BP, $20-milion is pocket change.
Aug 11- An important drawback to automation is a decrease in an operator’s situation awareness of their work environment, which can be detrimental to decision-making. Humans may be less aware of changes in the environment or system states when those changes are under the control of automation than when they make changes themselves. Situation awareness (SA) refers to the cognitive processes leading to decisions regarding likely future events in a particular environment.
Aug 10- In January 2006, work began by the Buncefield Major Incident Investigation Board (MIIB) to determine the causes of the Buncefield incident. The MIIB developed a series of recommendations for industry and the Competent Authority (CA - HSE, Environment Agency and SEPA), which, once
implemented, would greatly reduce the risk of a similar incident in the future.
Aug 4- “The most difficult part of management of change is recognizing change.” The most important starting point for the program is clearly defining for the organization just what constitutes a “change” that you wish to manage. Or more simply, what change falls under the MOC process and what sort of changes do not? A lack of clear definition effectively cripples an MOC program’s effectiveness, inviting both unnecessary analysis paralysis and creating loopholes for those who wish to bypass the process.
ARC is not in a position to pass judgment on or assign blame for the tragic loss of life and environmental disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. From our perspective, the primary questions that need to be answered now are, "What can we learn from this mishap?" and "How can the industry prevent a reoccurrence of this type of event?"
Apr 29 - ConocoPhillips's (COP.N) 306,000 barrel per day joint venture Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, is up and running after an early morning fire in a unit associated with gasoline-making was extinguished, a company spokesman said on Thursday.
Mar 3- User-Centered Design Makes Operators More Aware of Their Processes and Better Able to Respond Fast
The ASM Consortium and Honeywell authors wrote an article for InTech on “The Human Side of Safety”. The article discusses the need for better attention to human factors to reduce the frequency and severity of process safety incidents
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(Business Wire)--Several international unions representing hundreds of thousands of chemical
industry workers today criticized the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) for abrogating its mandate to recommend strong EPA and OSHA standards to prevent runaway reactions in chemical factories,
NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) — Pipe corrosion that went undetected for years led to an explosion and fire that rocked a Sunoco oil refinery in Claymont in May, authorities said Tuesday.
August 7 - A four-member investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is deploying to the site of a release of propane and hydrogen fluoride at the ExxonMobil refinery in Joliet, Illinois.
Aug 4 - AIChE's Center for Chemical Process Safety, in cooperation with John Wiley & Sons, has published "Continuous Monitoring for Hazardous Material Releases." Experts have found that equipment for detecting catastrophic chemical releases has often been used inappropriately, or that the information generated falls short.
JUN 12 Chemical, pulp and paper plant security may well be the final frontier in action needed to protect our communities, workers, businesses and critical infrastructure. Across the country, there are more than 100 facilities that each put more than 1 million Americans at risk of injury or death in the event of an accident or terrorist attack at these plants.
May22 - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Delek Refining Ltd. in Tyler, Texas, with an alleged willful and 29 alleged serious violations after a fire and explosion claimed the lives of two workers and injured three others. Proposed penalties total $217,350.
May 17 - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Hess Corporation for workplace safety and health violations with proposed fines totaling $141,500.
Environmental groups have accused BP of dropping its pledge to be green and replacing it with a commitment to be "responsible".
April 20 - A toxic tort lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 143 people who worked at or lived near an oil refinery owned by BP America in Texas City, alleging that they were exposed to benzene and other harmful chemicals that were released into the air in April 2007.
April 10 - Calumet Specialty Products Partners' Shreveport refinery has implemented several safety changes and programs since a fire Oct. 30, a company spokeswoman says.
Mar 21 - Federal safety inspectors have proposed fines totaling $60,625 and issued citations for 18 "serious" violations and two other violations found during recent inspections at the Husky Energy Inc. refinery in Lima, Ohio.
Mar 20 - Sloppy practices and inadequate risk assessment by Total are to blame for the damage from the explosion at the Buncefield oil depot in Hertfordshire, a high court judge said yesterday in a ruling that could cost the oil company more than £750m in damages.
PARIS, Feb. 24 -- Trial began Feb. 23 against Total SA's fertilizer affiliate Grande Paroisse and the manager of the company's Toulouse plant where a workshop containing waste ammonitrates exploded in 2001.
ORANGE, Texas, Feb. 18, 2009 - DuPont Sabine River Works has completed its restart project following Hurricane Ike.
Feb 10 - In the message, Bresland notes that of eight catastrophic industrial dust explosions since 1995, all but one occurred during cold weather, with four of these occurring during February alone.
WOODS CROSS -- The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board released new details about the Silver Eagle Refinery fire this morning, including findings that there were prior problems with the tank.
By Laura Walter
In a new video safety message, U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) Chairman John Bresland urged companies to ensure they have effective winterization programs to prevent major chemical and refinery process accidents that could result in deaths or substantial property damage.
The investigation team, led by the Uk's Major Incidents Investigation Board (MIIB), has produced a series of heavyweight reports into issues such as safety management at storage sites for fuels, planning round industrial sites and the environmental impact. A key lesson is that at site level, process safety must be secured by automatic systems, without reliance on human intervention.
Guidelines for the Management of Change for Process Safety provides guidance on the implementation of effective and efficient Management of Change (MOC) procedures, which can be applied to improve process safety. In addition to introducing MOC systems, the book describes how to design an initial system from scratch, including the scope of the system and the applications over a plant life cycle and the boundaries and overlaps with other process safety management systems.
A four-member investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board is expected to arrive this afternoon at the Woods Cross, Utah, site of a refinery fire on Monday that seriously burned four workers. The team will be headed by CSB Investigator Supervisor Donald Holmstrom, CSB announced.
Process safety systems for the offshore oil/gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico have taken a very different path than those of their onshore brethren.
HOUSTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - A U.S. refiners association said on Monday the industry was blindsided by a federal court ruling in a case brought by the Sierra Club that increases the chances of companies being fined while using plant safety flares during shutdowns, start-ups and malfunctions.
Why have so few companies achieved stronger results? The reason is simple – they often fail to fully address the non-technical element of such an initiative – the human factor. The component with the greatest variation in any manufacturing system is the “human” component, yet we neglect to address this aspect because it is non-technical. Most organizations are very good at solving technical problems because they have good problem-solvers with sound technical skills. However, as Michael Hammer states in Re-Engineering the Corporation: “The technical problems are the easy problems … the soft stuff is the hard stuff.”
The first step in eliminating inappropriate human behaviors is to define the appropriate ones. These definitions should be codified in corporate policies and procedures. A corporate policy, for example, may state that all sensitive data on laptops must be encrypted and protected with a password of sufficient strength.
We’ve Come a Long Way from the Days When Refinery Operators Used Flaming Arrows to Relight Their Flare Systems, but Even Bigger Changes May Be Ahead
Despite the inauspicious start, the strict ordinance — celebrating its 10th anniversary in January — became a model for the nation. Contra Costa and Richmond, which adopted the county ordinance in 2002, have yet to record a single refinery or chemical plant accident this year — an unprecedented achievement.
Today marks the 24th anniversary of the world's worst industrial disaster--one that has been called the "Hiroshima of the chemical industry" and that took place in Bhopal, India.
The onset of a plant fault or serious accident presents the most severe challenge to a plant operator's skill. Coping with an emergency or a serious incident in a process plant requires fluent and co-ordinated team activity.
The process industry is involved with the conversion of raw materials, through a series of chemical processing steps, to valued products and is a key economic sector in the U.S. and globally.